Pease: Should we fear Operation Jade Helm?

Military Operation Jade Helm 15 is billed as the largest peacetime military exercise in sixty years, although no one can remember one larger, or one involving more civilians. Wartime yes, FDR incarcerated over 110 thousand Japanese Americans in World War II. Thousands of troops including America’s greatest: the Navy Seals, the Army Rangers, the Green Berets, US. Air Force Special Operations Command, the USMC Marine Special Operations Command, and the 82nd Airborne Division will practice “realistic” mock operations in nine states mostly in the Southwest. Although the facts remain skimpy, adding to the fear, we are told that it begins July 15 and ends 60 days later, September 15, and will simulate war missions mostly in remote areas.

Dr. Harold Pease

Dr. Harold Pease

The U.S. Army Special Operation Command letter detailing the operation claims to have acquired approval from local officials to conduct these military exercises. The operation comes complete with staging areas; airfields, drop and landing zones so it could be scary for some not used to a military presence. Texas, Utah and from Bakersfield south in California, are labeled hostile territory (this part of California is specifically identified as an Insurgent Pocket), New Mexico is identified as leaning hostile. The rest of California and all of Nevada, and Colorado are labeled permissive with Arizona leaning friendly. The map provided in the command letter has code word operations: six in Texas, three in Arizona, two in Utah, New Mexico and Florida. No detail is revealed with respect to these special operations except that Texas is obviously the area of heaviest concentration.

A low population density with access to towns is considered essential in the operation. Their unclassified document explains why: “Operating in and around communities where anything out of the ordinary will be spotted and reported” and “ the opportunity to work with civilians to gain their trust and understanding of the issues.” Obviously Operation Jade Helm 15 will involve numerous citizens and will be noticed. We are told to expect increased aircraft at night, suspicious activities, personnel carrying weapons and some of the military personnel wearing civilian attire and driving civilian vehicles, (Unclassified/Fouo, US Army Special Operations Command, Contact Thomas Mead, JADE HELM Operations Planner/MSEL, phone 910-391-1137).

Opponents, of which there are many, view the operation as preparing the troops for coming civil unrest, as in Ferguson, Missouri or Baltimore, Maryland, or even political unrest as happened with the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas in 1993, or on the Bundy Ranch just last year when federal snipers had their rifles aimed at the Bundy’s and Bundy supporters, coming from as far away as Connecticut, who had their rifles aimed at the government snipers.

Reportedly Governor Abbott of Texas has ordered his state’s national guard to keep an eye on Operation Jade Helm 15 in his state, to which the guard responded that it would. Moreover, some veteran groups have launched what they term a “Counter Jade Helm Operation” wherein they intend to monitor and identify the movements of Jade Helm. Their motto: “Body Cams In Place! They Practice, We Practice.” The Internet will be used to disseminate the information.

Why shouldn’t Texas feel singled out, three years ago they spoke openly of succession? Why shouldn’t Utah wonder if this show of military strength has anything to do with the Sheriffs’ Rebellion in western states wherein she wrote the strongest letter to the executive branch informing them that Utah would be enforcing the Second Amendment as understood by the Founding Fathers, “even if it costs us our lives.”

The establishment press is very dismissive of all of this, labeling those who fear the government as anti-government or conspiracy nuts. The problem is, Operation Jade Helm is big, real, and not a conspiracy. Its size and scope frightens people. The military can practice what it wishes on its gigantic military bases and in much smaller groups and in a single state with half their participants in civilian clothing, the other not. It has provided no good reason why it needs nine states to do so.

If this massive show of military strength happened in the fifties when the vast majority of the population trusted what the government said to be true, it may have been acceptable. But we live in a time when most presidents have lied to the people and the trust factor by the people of their government is at an all time low. We live in a time when the government spies on its own citizens. When the NSA records every email generated by the people for permanent storage in Bluffdale, Utah, after telling us that this was preposterous—a conspiracy theory that turned out not to be theory, and when Barack Obama uses the IRS to punish his political enemies just like Richard Nixon did. Frankly, we live in a time when the government, either party, cannot be trusted. It has discredited itself.

So, should we fear Operation Jade Helm? Probably not in the sense that our civil liberties will be threatened, just yet. But there is a bigger reason for it and the government has not been forthcoming with it. Perhaps it is to get us used to such which one day may be used to round up political dissidents. You would have to be naïve not to have had this cross your mind at least once.

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for more than 25 years at Taft College.

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  • David Arner

    Why can’t they have a real action into Mexico and take out the drug gangs. Maybe they could even practice to see if they could protect the border from illegal immigrants, or would that go against the beliefs of Obama to protect the illegals and restrict the Americans?

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